Winter Outings – Steavenson Falls, Marysville

After what seems like ages, Moth and I headed out for some adventure, heading towards Marysville in country Victoria to shoot at Steavenson Falls, amongst other things. It was a beautiful drive up, in the eerie fog and sunshine that eventually broke through.

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The mountain range surrounding this area is still suffering from the devastating bush-fires of 2009, so much was lost; people, property, animals and livelihoods. This is mostly a rural farming area and is only just now starting to come back to life.

Getting the the falls is easy, once you get to Marysville (approx 90mins from Melbourne)and are quite well sign posted, to get there drive to Steavenson Falls carpark, which is located 3km along  bitumen on Falls Road, from the heart of Marysville. Then it’s an easy 700 metre walk to an awe-inspiring view of one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls. Plummeting 84 metres the falls have been a favourite since the 1860′s. They are very accessible by wheelchair as well, with viewing platforms with spectacular views. There are also a few spots to go which have steps.

We had received a fair bit of rain this past week and all rivers were running freely and quite high, making the waterfalls a wonderful sight. I played with some long exposures on this trip, especially my Firecrest ND 16 filter, which I have only had a chance to use a few times.

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ISO 400, 20mm F/11, 1/60 second

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ISO 100, F/22, 18mm, 39 seconds, ICE ND 10

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ISO 100, 40mm F/9, 360 seconds (6 minutes)Firecrest ND 16

I just love the silky water effects you can get with a long exposure. I used my ICE ND Filter, which has a warmer cast to it and the Firecrest 16 which has a cool colour cast, I could have matched them, but I actually like the two different versions.

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I even spotted one of those rock cairns up on the waterfall………how on earth they managed to get up there is beyond me, or even WHY?

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We then went on from here to Bruno’s Sculpture gardens, but that is for another post.

Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

Winter Wanderings – Warburton

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Frosty & Merlot

Recently, a photography friend invited Moth and I, away with them and another couple for some fun and light painting in Warburton, Victoria. It was Queen’s Birthday Long weekend……the official start of Victoria’s Snow season; and we were heading right into it!

So we went prepared with a car full of hiking boots, hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, thermal underwear, more hats, gloves, scarves and jackets and hope to keep warm! We did so much on this 3 day trip I may have to break up the posts. We all arrived and met up Saturday Afternoon and spent time chatting and having a few social drinks, while working out our plans for the rest of the weekend. We had already done some exploring on the way up (as the others had done too). We had a lovely dinner out, loads of laughs and great food. We had planned to go the the Redwood Forest to try our hand at a few new ideas with Light Painting, Moth and I planned to do our own thing Early Sunday Morning (I mean early) and then we went for a walk through the Rain Forest Gallery, followed by a touch of off road (more mud than anything) down to Healesville…….it’s a lovely scenic drive. We also went to Mount Donna Buang and played in the snow from the night before. The Snowman above we dressed ourselves (yes I took a Top Hat camping – don’t you?) and Merlot the dog……..usually referred to as Muddy Merlot; he belongs to Dee and Bill who went with us as well.

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We found treasures in the forest and along the Yarra River, moss and tress and toadstools, the cascades were wonderful for long exposures and with 4 photographers in the group it took us awhile to do the short walk :-)……..too many photo opportunities.

The evenings we spent with good food and lots of laughs, followed by freezing in nearing 0c temperatures playing with lights and flaming steel wool in the forest and on top of Mountains.

I still have so many photos to go through. I will break it all up into a few posts, I think and go into more detail for each. We also did a bit of antiquing and junk shop hunting and picked up a few bargains, a few treasures for still life and my new concept shoot. We spent a little time exploring the township of Warburton as well, but it is not very big. On Monday morning Moth and I slept in a little, did some shopping and exploring and then finally made our way home. It was a wonderfully funny and relaxing weekend with good people, good food and good fun (albeit very cold).

Will post some more photos soon, once I have gone through some more. Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz

Winter Waterfalls – Taggerty Cascades

Marysville-“Take a short scenic drive beside the Taggerty River to discover raging waterfalls that cascade over enormous granite boulders, bubbling creeks, beautiful tree fern gullies under tall eucalypts, and finally enter a magical ancient rainforest that looks much as it has for many millions of years. The Drive was named after the wife of Sir Reginald Talbot, Governor of Victoria from 1903-1908.” Drive

Head out from Marysville to Lady Talbot Drive, past the Taggerty River Picnic Area, Keppel Falls and Phantom Falls and park in the Taggerty Cascade Car Park, from there you can do several walks, across the road to the right is the Taggerty Cascades Upper Walk, which is a very short, but lovely walk. See Map here. The boardwalks and stairs provide mostly easy access and are quite good, however it was still quite wet and slippery after the week’s rains.

There is a lovely spot just before the bridge to take some photos as well. Then you can head down to the left to the Taggerty Cascades Lower Walk, as well as the Beeches Walk. They day we were there the Beeches Walk was closed, so we were not able to do this. Start this spectacular circuit walk from the Taggerty Cascades car park or The Beeches. The ancient rainforest features groves of Myrtle Beech trees (Nothofagus cunninghamii) with many trees over 300 years old! Follow the steep track, there are some stairs as well, down past the two bridges to the tranquil bubbling Whitehouse Creek joins the Taggerty River at the Meeting of the Waters. It was extremely wet and slippery when we were there, but it is worth the long arduous climb back up. [Please note: Lady Talbot Drive beyond The Beeches is accessible to Two Wheel Drive vehicles only in dry weather conditions.] We did not venture beyond this point in our car. It was supposedly only 150m (20 min walk round trip), but I think it is much more than this. Perhaps that is to the first bridge, with the spectacular waterfall, it is like a scene out of a Movie.

To read more on our trip out to Marysville read here. Until next time, happy snapping

– Julz

Winter Waterfalls – Haast

We still have not had any real rain here, cold, yes, a little bit of drizzle, but no real rain, I have not had a chance to get to any waterfalls as I had hoped, but have just been so busy, hopefully soon, so I thought I would feature a spot we visited earlier in the year. Back in February when Moth and I were in New Zealand, we had a day trip cancelled due to inclement weather, and we took a drive around Wanaka in the South. Some locals told us about some amazing Waterfalls which we running full due to all the recent rain. So we took a drive out there, you can read about the whole day trip here.

They call Haast, On the Edge of Wilderness and I can certainly see why it is stunning spot to visit, all the rain certainly made it an interesting, if not wet and soggy afternoon.

Haast, The perfect destination to explore some of New Zealand’s most unique scenery and wildlife situated amidst spectacular & rugged scenery of the South West New Zealand World Heritage area, between ancient rainforests of Te Wahipounamu, glaciers, and the Tasman sea.

Haast offers a unique insight to the “real New Zealand” a rare gem,unspoilt by humans and thriving with native bird life.

Discover the extraordinary history of South Westland, from pre european Maori, and the importance of pounamu, to early pioneering,gold mining, logging, fishing, deer recovery, and more.

Try sea fishing, fly fishing, whitebaiting (in season), deer stalking, bird watching, tramping, nature walks, jet boat safaris, helicopter adventures and glacier flights.

http://www.haastnz.com/

With names like Fantail Falls, Pleasant Falls, Thunder Creek Falls, Roaring Billy and The Gates. Some of these are less than 50m from the main road into Haast.

Til Next Time………….happy snapping

– Julz

Winter Winterfalls

Well I am officially out of lighthouses and shipwrecks for the moment and was not sure what to write about for this week, I have been thinking about visiting some waterfalls nearby, while it is winter and they should all running with water, but we have had so little rain this Winter – so far. So I thought perhaps I could do some waterfalls I have already been to. I may or may not have given full credit to come of these spots I have been to in passing, but I thought I could drag some images out again.

Stirling Falls, Milford Sound, New Zealand

A little bit of Info……………..

Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea, the mouth of the fiord is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) or more on either side. Among the peaks are The Elephant at 1,517 metres (4,977 ft), said to resemble an elephant’s head, and The Lion, 1,302 metres (4,272 ft), in the shape of a crouching lion.

Milford Sound sports two permanent waterfalls all year round, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. After heavy rain however, many hundreds of temporary waterfalls can be seen running down the steep sided rock faces that line the fiord. They are fed by rain water drenched moss and will last a few days at most once the rain stops.

– Wikipedia

When we visited it had been raining for days, there had also been snow and ice overnight, which was melting in the afternoon sun and adding to the run off. The boat took us directly under the falls, so I managed to run inside and get some great shots of people through the window, without getting me or my camera wet. The shot of the cracked surface was one I was keen to attempt, I had seen someone else’s version in the same spot and had read and re read how they achieved it. I had only had the camera a little while back then and everything (including shooting on manual) was new, I was thrilled with how it turned out. I wish I had a ND Filter back then as well to get some completely different effects.

Til next time happy snapping

– Julz